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Mariah Carey - 'Obsessed'

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Fraser McAlpine | 22:07 UK time, Monday, 17 August 2009

Mariah Carey

The plot thickens. This is, if you believe everything you read, Mariah's answer song to Eminem's claims that they were once an item. She does not believe this to be true, he does. One of them is lying, both of them have put their claims to music, and it's unlikely that we're ever going to know the truth.

And, as is often the case when people bicker, we've gone past the nuts and bolts of who said or did what, and we're now into making up reasons as to why they would behave in such a way in the first place.

We've all done it, in the heat of the moment, right? You do a minute or two of "no, I didn't!", "YES YOU DID!", and then it becomes "why are you lying about this? Is it because you were bullied at school?", or "it's not my fault you've got issues", or "for the last time, Fraser, you are NOT a woman, so TAKE MY MAKEUP OFF!", right?


(Here's the video. Who knew a romantic bust-up could involve a real bus?)

The trick to it is to couch your claims of mental deficiency in terms that make you look even better. So while Eminem once again plays the bitter, spurned victim with an axe to grind (a real axe too, honest), Mariah gets to pretend that she is too perfect to lower herself to his level: "why would you, a sex-crazy foul-mouthed rapper, be obsessed with someone as hot, lovely and amazing as little old me?"

That's IF the song is about the Eminem thing, of course. Apparently that's not true either. Which means, by reading into the lyrics, we're all just as bad as he is. Which means that this song is basically aimed at us too. Which means the restraining orders are very probably in the post...OR that Mariah is fluttering her eyelashes at the entire world, in order to get what she wants.

I know, it's almost too preposterous to believe.


The break into her upper, wheezy vocal register for the line "gasping for air, I'm ventilation" is either a genius bit of method acting, in order to demonstrate what gasping for air sounds like, or just another case of Mariah's vocal showboating, without any pause to consider whether the noise she is making is sonically pleasant or not. It's not.

It's always nice when Mariah puts a song out where the chorus goes to somewhere different to the verses. So the Beyoncé-ish "finally found a girl who you couldn't impress" bits are very welcome in what is a very sparse song, melodically speaking.

"Got you all fired up with your Napoleon complex" = brilliant. Don't really care which little man it is actually aimed at, that's a killer line.

Mind you, I bet you any money there will be a duet between Mariah and Marshall at some point. It'll be like that Libertines song 'Can't Stand Me Now', but with more swearing.

Three starsDownload: Out now
CD Released: August 17th
BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)



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